3 ways to find and foster more workplace contentment

Focus on other people, accept that ‘perfect’ doesn’t exist, and seek happiness outside that cubicle.

How to find more workplace contentment

Marketers love to spout about content being king, but savvy communicators know that contentment holds far more power in every workplace kingdom.

It’s simple: When we’re happy at work, we produce better work. Contentment boosts morale, energy, productivity and just about any other positive professional attribute you can think of. Alternatively, a crew of unhappy workers will suck the life from your company faster than a throng of thirsty vampires at a blood bank.

So, we all want contentment—and wish our colleagues and bosses had more of it—but how do we get it?

Perhaps more important, how can we communicators help create an environment that breeds contentment, happiness and employee satisfaction? Try these three ideas on for size:

1. Find it elsewhere. Corporate execs and leaders should be obsessed with workplace contentment, but a huge majority never really take it seriously. Most honchos are interested in “employee engagement” inasmuch as it relates to productivity and profits, but not so much with meeting staffers’ profound emotional needs.

Assuming this is the case at your place of work, plan to find fulfillment beyond your cubicle. Get outside more. Commune with nature. Get involved at your place of worship. Volunteer for a favorite charity.

Aside from doing more of what feeds your soul, keep in mind that finding more contentment is mostly a mental recalibration. Put away thoughts of how happy you’d be in another position, and don’t assume that you’d be 100% content at your “dream job.” Take it from someone who worked in the nonprofit realm for a decade: A job is a job, and a perfect one doesn’t exist.

Try your best to bloom wherever you’re planted right now. Consistently remember that your job doesn’t define who you are as a person. Your rank, role or responsibilities have no real bearing on the universe—but how you treat others absolutely can.

2. Focus on others—and on personal development. People who are obsessed with themselves never find contentment. Those who care for others, however, enjoy multitudes of unexpected benefits that extend well beyond work.

How can you be more others-focused on the job? Communicators can:

  • Consistently check in with colleagues to see how they’re doing.
  • Take new employees under their wing to show them the ropes.
  • Speak up for employees who are underappreciated or under-resourced.
  • Speak up when you see bullying, intimidation, harassment or other bad behavior.
  • Offer to help a struggling team member.
  • Take stressful tasks off the plates of execs.
  • Be a strong voice that reminds leaders to prioritize people over profits.
  • Encourage and empower others to procure professional development.

Don’t neglect personal care, however, and do not conflate contentment with complacency. Strive to learn new skills, and focus on shoring up professional weaknesses. Prioritize other people, but you do you, too.

3. Reject perfectionism. Perfect communication doesn’t exist. So, write without fear. Don’t stress about what people think of you.

Don’t let perfectionism hamper your productivity nor dampen your spirits. Do your best, let it rip, and move on to the next project.

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